Writing Strategies


(This article covers the multiple-choice questions the SAT writing section. Please click the following link if you’re interested in strategies for the SAT essay.)

For most students, SAT Writing preparation involves memorizing a lot of English grammar and then looking for ways to apply it to the test. So students will learn about things like this:

  1. correlative conjunctions
  2. the passive voice
  3. the difference between “their” and “they’re”

The problem is that the “rules of grammar” observed by the College Board on the SAT writing section aren’t always the same rules that your english teacher might want you to follow. For example, the College Board doesn’t actually care about the passive voice, even though most english teachers will penalize you for using it. This link will give you an idea of how the College Board looks at grammar.

So the better way to approach the writing section is to look at some real practice questions from the College Board and try to understand how they’re written. Look for the unique patterns and relationships that shape the questions and answer choices on this part of the test. Then use those in the future to figure out which answer choices will be correct.

SAT Writing Strategy Videos

Here is a video of someone explaining some of the most commonly encountered SAT grammatical errors:

And here’s one where the instructor explains how the SAT likes to use idioms in its writing questions:

Finally, here’s another take on the application of strategy to grammar:

 Posted by at 12:19 am

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